Pacato: (Ita) Calm, quiet.
Pan Flutes: Panpipes, a type of
Flute, have been around for 2000 years. They are made of
pottery, wood or bamboo, cut at graduated lengths and fastened together. The
player blows over the end of each length of tube which corresponds to a
Parallel Chords: The
movement of specific
chord combinations up and down a
Parallel Intervals: The movement in two
or more parts of the same
intervals in the same
keys having the same
Parallel Motion: The
movement in two or more parts of the same
the same direction.
Partial: Either the
or an overtone in the
Partita: 1. A set of
variations. 2. A
Part Song: An
song for three or more voices.
phrase within a
move conjunctly between two
chords to which they do not
Pausa: (Ita) A rest.
Penny Whistle: Made of metal with six finger holes. Also called a tin
sounds performed by striking or beating one element against
instruments made of
sonorous material that produce sounds of definite or indefinite
pitch when shaken or struck, including
Perfect: A term
used to label fourth,
intervals. It corresponds
to the major, as given to
Perfect cadence: The
progression of dominant to
in a major
key V-I, in
The ability to distinguish and identify any given
note without any
with one or more musicians.
statement, made up of two or more
phrases, and a
Pesante: (Ita) Heavy.
Peu a peu: Little by little.
Phrase: A single
musical idea, or element. Usually very short, often consisting of only one or
two measures. Comparable to a line or sentence in poetry
Phrygian Mode: A
whose scale pattern is that of playing E to E
on the white keys of a Piano.
Pianissimo: (Ita) Very
Pianississimo: (Ita) Very, very soft; the
softest common dynamic marking.
A large keyboard
instrument invented in the early 1700s
by Bartolomeo Cristofori, with five principal components:
||1) the frame:
||2) the sound board
||3) tuned strings
|The keys act like
levers that operate a hammer system. This is what differentiates the piano from
the Harpsichord and
Clavichord. When the player depresses the key, the inner end
causes the hammer to strike vibrating strings of varied length attached to the
soundboard. The famous and leading makers of the piano in Beethoven's day were
Viennese Steins Streicher, Graf, Schantz and Walter.
"Soft-loud." A keyboard
instrument, the full name for the
Piano, on which sound
is produced by hammers striking strings when keys are pressed. It has 88 keys.
Pianola: A trade name for player
Piano: played mechanically
Picardy third: The term for the raising
of the third, making a
the final chord
of a composition which is in a
key. The practice originated in c. 1500 and extended
through the Baroque period.
Piccolo: A small transverse
Flute that plays an
octave higher than the orchestral
It may be made of wood or metal.
Piccolo Trumpet: The smallest member of the
Pick: The device used
to strum or pluck
stringed instruments of the
guitar family or the
action of doing so.
type of lute from China having a short neck and pear shape. It may have 16 to 24
frets in its modern version. The player uses his fingernails to pluck it four
instrument in the form of a tube.
Piper: A person who
plays the bagpipes.
Pipe & Tabor: This
instrument is a combination of a small three hole
flute and a small
snare drum. One player handles both
instruments. It dates back to at least the 13th
century. The pipe held in the left hand and the right hand beats the tabor with
Pitch: The highness
or lowness of a tone, as determined by the number of
vibrations in the sound.
wind instrument used to tune another
instrument or provide to singer
or a choir.
Piu: More. Used with
other terms, e.g. piu mosso, more motion.
"Pinched." On string
instruments, plucking the
Plagal cadence: Sometimes called the "amen"
progression of subdominant to
in a major
key IV-I, in
chant which is
unmeasured, and unaccompanied; such as
Plectrum: Made of
ivory, wood or more commonly today plastic. Used to
Pluck: The action of
using your fingers, plectrum
or a pick to
pull or pick the
Most commonly associated with the
guitar family but also applies to the
Poco: Little. Used with other terms, e.g. poco accel., also, poco a poco, little by little.
Poco ced., Cedere: A little
Poco piu mosso: A little more motion.
Poi: Then or afterwards, e.g. poi No. 3,
then No. 3.
stately Polish dance in moderate triple time, often with a repeated
style in which an ensemble is divided into groups that may perform individually,
alternately, or together.
"Many sounds". Music that has many
notes sounding together, either in
a chordal, or
As in "popular music".
Most commonly associated today with rock or country but could also include folk.
Portative Organ: see also
organ small enough to be portable. The player carries
it and works the bellows, usually with one set of pipes and covering three to
Positive Organ: Handel received lessons on a
it is reportedly on display in Halle, Germany. This is a smaller domestic
and not easily transported. Some church musicians may have owned these types of
organs. The positive
organ contains a full flue chows and typically has no pedal
Post Horn: A small horn used in the 16th century to signal the arrival of the mail wagon.
Usually small, without valves and coiled.
Postlude: "Play after." The final piece
in a multi-movement work.
Organ piece played at the end of a church service.
"Play-before". An introductory
movement or work.
Premiere: First performance.
Prepared Piano: The
composer will prescribe exactly how he/she wants the
Piano prepared for
individual works. It may include specific placement of such items as paper,
bolts, coins or rubber wedges between the strings. It alters the sound of the
Piano by producing buzzing or tinkling sounds. John Cage produced a composition
for prepared Piano that was performed in 1949.
Prestissimo: (Ita) Very, very fast. The fastest
Presto: (Ita) Very quick.
Primo: (Ita) First.
Principal: Instrumental section leader.
A piece that conveys a picture or story, in contrast to
Prologue: An introductory piece that
presents the background for an opera.
Proper: The parts of
the Mass whose parts change daily, as distinct from the
The proper consists of the introit, Gradual, Alleluia or
Tract, Offertory, and Communion.
with a trapezoid shape, flat box design, and
plucked strings. In 11th century Europe it was played with quills. The role of
may have been to accompany the psalms.